INDUSTRY NEWS

Insurer to rent 40,000 square feet

Insurance company Robert Fleming has confirmed that it will rent around 42,000 square feet of London office space at 20 Gracechurch Street.

The building, which is jointly owned by Aviva and Atlas Capital, comprises a total of 315,000 square feet. The insurance brokers will take the whole fourth floor and a part of the third.

The agreement will be seen as grounds for optimism, because it is one of the first and probably largest deals in the Square Mile this year.

Robert Fleming are expected to pay £42.50 per square foot, reflecting the falling fortunes of London’s commercial property.

Last November, South African bank First Rand signed a 10-year lease on 26,000 square feet of 20 Gracechurch Street at £55 per square foot, suggesting a 23 percent decline in commercial rates in just four months. The drop in rent has prompted signs of interest from other large buyers too.

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